The second challenge is a nurturing game/dating simulation. I recall reading the first part of this, only as far as the girl hatching from the egg, so honestly, the rest of the episode was a surprise to me.
That being said, in comparison to the pacing of episode one. I actually liked the pacing in this episode, maybe it’s because it was a lighter task and didn’t require the tension that the horror task required. The ones picked for the task this time are Himiko, Anya, Akatsuki and Makino.
It’s a obvious mess how much this group is when they are told to think of their ideal when hatching a girl, after hatching the girl. She needed to capture the eye of the most popular guy in school. Well, this turns into a absolute mess as we end up with a panda (Akatsuki’s influence), with an afro (Makino’s influence) wearing a school uniform (Anya’s influence). Anya was honestly the most normal one of the group, you know, for all his short tempered yelling and tendency to get on Paca’s bad side, I think he’s rapidly becoming my favorite character.
Meanwhile, Yuzu does a little experiment at Karin’s expense. After taking Karin up on the bath, she makes some rather odd moves and says some rather odd things. All for the sake of seeing if they were getting views, even while doing something like bathing. The answer is yes, of course. They are being watched at all times, doing all of the things.
After this, they go to help with the second challenge and all of them (except for Anya) accompany the panda girl into the all girls school to romance the popular male teacher. Too bad the teacher is an absolute narcissist and a complete jerk, and besides, the panda girl is crushing on Makino anyway.
Panda shaped pastries are made, romance is both succeeded and failed but in the end of it all. They manage to pass the second test. I can’t believe I got vaguely misty eyed over a weird afro panda. That vanishing scene was oddly kind of charming.
What was even more charming was the panda cake that was left for Anya, despite him being ejected from the round mid-way through and the fact that he ate it and appreciate it. I think he’s a lot less of a jerk then he comes off as.
Then there is the end, the dead ringer surprise at the end of the episode. As we follow Yuzu, up to her room and as she walks inside and opens a door to a shrine to Akatsuki. That’s creepy, that’s like stalker levels of creepy. We know from last episode and from Yuzu’s talk with Karin in this episode that Yuzu knew Akatsuki from a co-stream previously.
She also refers to herself as a “completionist.” which in gaming terms would mean, getting 100% on a game including all trophies and such. This isn’t how she means it though, she means it when it comes to people and she wants to know everything about them.
That was one heck of an ending twist.
There is also Zukuro and Kaikoku, who were missing for a majority of the episode. Kaikoku dismissed himself early in the episode and went to follow Paca, one can only assume that Zukuro as the only one that noticed this also followed him. They seemed alright at the end of the episode, so hopefully nothing too big happened. I’d be interested in knowing what they were upto, I sort of know from my brief memory of the manga. Since it does cut away to follow them a bit.
I do hope the anime will cover that.